If you want to rank YouTube videos, then what I’m about to share is something you don’t want to miss. Why you ask? Simple, YouTube is saturated, competitive and it’s extremely challenging to grow a channel. With more than 500 hours of video footage uploaded to YouTube every minute, how are you going to compete? Furthermore, the algorithm rewards “engaging videos” that have accumulated watch time. However, if nobody knows about your channel, how are you going to accumulate that watch time? This is why so many struggle to drive views and gain subscribers.
However, there’s good news. Most never take the time to understands how and why YouTube rewards some videos and neglects others. Before we geek out with terms like watch time, authority and trust we need to understand what’s important to YouTube. YouTube wants is to keep viewers on it’s site longer. The longer people stay on YouTube, the more ads YouTube can server and the more money they make. YouTube accomplishes this by “adjusting the ranking of videos in YouTube search by rewarding engaging videos that keep viewers watching”. By the way, that statement was taken from the YouTube Creator blog, which I cover in detail in my post about the YouTube Ranking Factors. It makes sense, if a viewer is spending more time watching a video than is typical for the subject matter. That signifies that the viewer is engaged and generally speaking, an engaged visitor is less likely to leave a website. In a nutshell, this is YouTubes mission and how they accomplish it.
Who Would You Reward ?
If you were YouTube, would you reward channels helping you to achieve your goal? That is videos and channels that engage viewers and keep them on YouTube longer? Or would you reward any and all channels regardless? Obviously, YouTube rewards channels that help it achieve it’s overall goal.
Engagement & Authority
YouTube rewards engaging videos and channels that keep people watching longer. As more and more viewers find and watch a video, that video gains more authority (which is measured in part by accumulated watch time) and is then heavily promoted in YouTube search and suggested videos. Which leads to even more authority, minutes watched and the cycle continues.
The Rich Get Richer
As a video gains popularity the views of that video increase, which impacts subscriber growth as well. Look at channels that gained popularity on the platform it becomes apparent how closely total video views and subscribers growth are tied together. As a channel grows their active subscriber base it becomes easier to rank future videos. For subscribers are notified and watched new videos as they’re released. Which drive views and accumulated watch time, thus the rich get richer. However, do not despair, if this was the entire algorithm Youtube would fail. Because new videos would not have a chance to be found. Can you imagine? While it may seam like the system is rigged, it’s not. It is however, challenging, especially for those who do not know what you’re about to discover.
Opportunity For Those In The Know
There’s one important element of the algorithm that YouTube rarely talks about. This element makes it possible for anyone to publish a video that ranks well in YouTube search. This is exactly how I’ve grown from zero to 2000+ subscribers in a relatively short period of time.
The Power of Relevancy
On March 1rst of 2016, I launched a brand new channel on YouTube with the goal of gaining 25,000 subscribers in one year. For the first six weeks I struggled (just like so many small YouTubers) as I uploaded video after video with no real rankings, views and incredibly slow subscriber growth. However, I did have a number of theories that I wanted to test. As I uploaded video after video, I did just that.
As winter gave way to spring, I began to notice that videos that were optimized for relevancy (video titles, descriptions and tags) often ranked at the top of YouTube for highly competitive search terms. Up until this point, I was cramming my titles with multiple keyword phrases, thus my video titles were not relevant to any single search query. To test out the power of relevancy in YouTube search, I tweaked the title of one of my videos. My target keyword phrase was: iMovie App Tutorial, which by the way was a keyword phrase that YouTube suggested when I entered in “iMovie a” into the search bar. This is where success begins, by targeting a single keyword phrase that YouTube viewers are search for. Do this and you’ll separate yourself from many of your competitors and you’ll be much more likely to drive views via YouTube search.
After making the changes to my video title and description, I noticed an increase in video views. From about ten views per day to twenty or so. I also notice that I was ranking in the top ten YouTube search results for my target keyword phrase “iMovie App Tutorial”. Each new view added more accumulative watch time to my video and thus my YouTube search rankings continued to increase. Soon, I noticed I was driving traffic for “iMovie App”, which today is one of my top performing keyword phrases.
#1 YouTube Ranking – iMovie App Tutorial 2016
What happened over the following weeks was amazing. Video views continued to increase day after day, those views drove search rankings even higher and soon enough, my video was successfully converting viewers into subscribers.
Ka BOOM! POOF! Pixie Dust!
Digging Deeper Into The YouTube Search Results
Rankings on YouTube are based on a number of factors, one of which is the relevancy of the title, tags and description to that of the keyword query. One of the things I noticed about the the rankings of this video was that all the other videos on page one of YouTube were NOT that relevant for the phrase “iMovie App Tutorial”. In fact, most of the top ranking videos did not include the word “app” in their video title at all.
Thus, their search rankings were based on authority, that is, watch time metrics. My video on the other hand had very little authority and the accumulated watch time for the video was next to nothing. However, I was not only ranking, but thriving. How was this video competing? In a word, relevancy. The meta data of the video, including the video title, tags and description were incredibly relevant to the keyword query. Today, as I write this, I have a bunch of videos that are leveraging “relevancy”, driving views, watch time and subscribers. You can do the same very thing.
I’m Doing It & You Can Too!
In the last six months, I’ve uploaded 88 videos to YouTube. Those videos have generated a lot of data that I’ve studied inside and out. While YouTube is very competitive, not many YouTubers take the time to identify the easiest keyword phrases to rank for. This is, without question incredibly important for anyone getting started on YouTube that doesn’t have a large following.
Make no mistake, there are many keywords that have not be optimized for relevancy by big Youtubers. Furthermore, if they do take the time to identify those “low hanging fruit” keyword phrases, not many know how to optimized their videos (as well as their channels) in order to gain authority and rank. Once you understand these two simple concepts, your ability to drive views will become easier. Over time, those views will lead to more and more authority, subscribers and success.
Rank YouTube Videos – Tube Rank Ritual
1). One Topic Ritual Video
Create a video that focuses on a single topic, such as “how to draw a rose” or “how to tie a tie”. Focusing on just one topic makes it far easier for potential viewers understand what your video is about and why they should care. The more easily potential viewers understand, the more they’ll click and watch your video.
2). Identify One Ritual Keyword Phrase Target
After selecting a focus topic for your video, you’ll want to identify one YouTube keyword phrase that you’ll optimize for. Thus, the goal in step two is to identify a YouTube search query that returns video results that are not optimized for relevancy.
How Can You Identify Search Results That Are Not Too Relevant?
- Video Titles – Missing Word(s)
My target keyword phrase for my iMovie video was: iMovie App Tutorial. That’s a three word target phrase, most of the ranking videos for that phrase had much longer keyword titles. Also, out of the top twenty video results, only four had included the word “app” in their title. Thus, my video had a relevancy score of 100%, while the current ranking videos had a much, much lower score. This is a great example where the current search results were not optimized for relevancy and thus opportunity was present.
- Video Title – Exact Match
Are many of the top twenty search results an exact match of the target keyword phrase? If yes, then those videos have been optimized for relevancy and thus, you’ll gain no extra boost.
- Video Title – Length
If your potential target keyword phrase is shorter, say three or four words and the majority of the videos that are currently ranking have longer video titles. Then you’re video title will be more relevant and you’ll get a boost in the rankings.
- Video Title – Think Different
People use different words and langue to often talk about the same very thing. Select the keyword phrase that fewer videos have optimized for.
Keyword Phrase Example:
- How To Get Found On YouTube
- How To Get Discovered On YouTube
- How To Get Noticed on YouTube
- Get Discovered On YouTube
- Get Noticed On YouTube
That’s five different search terms all focused around the same exact topic. Choose carefully and you’ll drive more views. You dig?
Speaking of digging, share this post now and you’ll feed a poodle!
Otis thanks you, lots.
Note: Accumulative Watch Time
As a video gains more and more accumulative watch time, it also gains authority and is able to rank for more keyword phrases. Regardless of relevancy. Thus, I often will tweak my video titles adding in additional words, which allow me to rank for even more phrases.
3). Create Rank Ritual Thumbnail
Step three will allow you to drive more views by creating a powerful thumbnail that conveys the subject of your video. Simple, clear and easy to read are all critically important. When it comes to thumbnails, less is more, because you’re creating an image that when viewed is displayed very, very small.
- Contrasting Colors Will Make It Easier For Viewers To Read
- Fewer Words Allows You To Increase The Size of Those Words
- Create Thumbnails That Are Congruent (Brand, Colors, Font)
- People Love & Are Drawn To Different – Get Creative & Have Fun
4). Ritual Rank Upload
Access my Ritual Rank Upload system and discover how I target my videos for relevancy, how to automate the transcription process (for free), how to optimize your YouTube tags and more.
Get The Entire 12-Step Tube Rank Ritual Guide
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